Federal association of medium-sized businesses

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Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises
legal form registered association
founding 1975
Seat Berlin
main emphasis Middle class
Chair Mario Ohoven
Website www.bvmw.de

The Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises - Entrepreneurs' Association of Germany V. ( BVMW ) is a trade association based in Berlin .

The BVMW is a sectors -neutral representation of the medium-sized business in Germany and represents small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed . The association states that it represents the interests of more than 900,000 votes with the involvement of the members of the around 30 cooperating specialist and industry associations in the SME alliance , including the Taxpayers' Association (BdSt), making it the largest, voluntarily organized, cross-industry interest group of the German Mittelstand - as opposed to the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( DIHK ), the umbrella organization of the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

According to research by the Handelsblatt in 2015, the membership numbers given by the BVMW are grossly exaggerated. In 2015, the BVMW stated that it represented 270,000 companies. The association's member magazine had fewer than 17,000 subscribers at the time and internal figures from the association indicated that the BVMW only had a good 15,000 members.

The BVMW represents the economic and political interests of its members with its own offices in all German federal states and with around 40 foreign offices in Brussels , the People's Republic of China , India , Italy , Japan , Poland , Ukraine and Turkey . In addition to lobbying , the association concentrates on networking among its members, promoting entrepreneurial exchange with the aim of strengthening competition and the like. a. towards large corporations and foreign trade support.


The BVMW was founded in Bonn in 1975 . Some medium-sized companies tried to set up a dialogue with parliamentarians in Bonn so that economic policy was not only oriented towards the corporations , and with this aim they founded the association. The trigger was a wave of bankruptcies among medium-sized companies in North Rhine-Westphalia . The association is funded by its own account since its inception exclusively from member contributions and voluntary services.


President and Management

At the head of the association is the board with a president. This office has been held by the entrepreneur Mario Ohoven since 1998 - he is also President of the European Association of Small and Medium -Sized Enterprises CEA-PME (Confédération Européenne des Associations de Petites et Moyenne Entreprises). Vice presidents are Dr. Jochen Leonhardt and Dr. Hans-Michael Pott, Federal Managing Director of the association is Markus Jerger. The management consists of: Michael Woltering, Michael Dammenhein and Andreas Jahn.

Regional associations

The BVMW is organized in around 300 district associations. Since 2004 the BVMW has been building regional associations abroad. The association is now present worldwide from Switzerland to India to Japan through representatives of the BVMW abroad .

Function, way of working, structure

The individual companies in the regions are looked after by independent association representatives. These network the member companies, organize regional events and provide local entrepreneurial support. In addition, national and international events are held regularly. The BVMW sees itself as a mediator of contacts, information, knowledge and services in a local, national and international context.

The federal headquarters in Berlin develops political and media influence in the interests of German SMEs and fights for better economic and political framework conditions. It bundles topics and maintains committees and commissions, e.g. B. on the topics of work and social affairs, digital, energy, health, taxes and finance as well as corporate security.

The work of the BVMW is accompanied by a political advisory board.


In addition to the criticism that the BVMW exaggerates its own importance in the public image, there are allegations that President Ohoven mixes business with private matters. The " Welt am Sonntag " reported in June 2019 on a birthday party for the president, at which the costs for the musicians of around 26,000 euros are said to have been settled through another association event. In addition, managing director Jerger and art director Chiara Ohoven, two members of the immediate presidential family, work in a prominent position for the BVMW. Apparently the association also paid the two bills from luxury hotels.

Furthermore, Die Welt reports that President Mario Ohoven and Managing Director Jerger use the title "Prof. Dr. hc" on the association's website. They would have received honorary professorships and doctorates from Russian universities. However, the higher education laws of the federal states stipulate that honorary degrees from foreign universities must be used in the original form with an indication of origin. For example, Section 69 (3) of the Higher Education Act of North Rhine-Westphalia says: "A foreign honorary degree [...] can be used in the form awarded in accordance with the legal provisions applicable to the award, stating the awarding body."


The BVMW publishes the nationwide magazine “ DER Mittelstand. " out.


The BVMW is a member of the European Movement Network .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas Dörnfelder, Miriam Schröder: The apparent giant. In: Handelsblatt . October 1, 2015, accessed April 23, 2019 .
  2. a b Sandro Schroeder: When the voice becomes a little voice. In: Detector.fm . December 1, 2015, accessed April 23, 2019 .
  3. ^ Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Political Advisory Board of the BVMW. Retrieved February 2, 2016
  4. ^ A b Manuel Bewarder : Association of medium-sized businesses: Mario Ohoven, the talented salesman . Ed .: Welt am Sonntag . June 23, 2019 ( welt.de [accessed June 25, 2019]).
  5. §69 of the Higher Education Act NRW. Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on June 25, 2019 .
  6. Membership page in the EBD. Retrieved May 18, 2015 .